Julep Kessie

Julep described Kessie as their “duochrome homage” to the 2014 Pantone color of the year, Radiant Orchid. Sephora calls it a “metallic orchid.” I’m not entirely sure I’d call Kessie a duochrome or a metallic exactly, but it is shimmery and does have the quality of appearing more violet or more magenta, depending on the angle. The shimmer also seems to mildly shift from pink to a peachy gold, but it’s hard to see on the nail.

This is two coats with Julep Freedom top coat, in indirect natural light, on the second day:

The formula is very sheer, so in two coats, you can still see the nail line underneath. I’m guessing a third layer might fix that, considering how much the second coat built up from the first, almost invisible coat. I was a little dismayed at first when I saw how sheer the first layer came out, but the second pass really made a dramatic difference. I can also see how Kessie’s transparency creates that glow-from-within sense of depth to the color, so I’m not complaining.

You can see a tiny hint of the peachy gold from this angle, when the light hits the shimmer just right. It’s very subtle, though.

Meanwhile, the cooler violet tones show up more in shadow, probably because that’s when the pink shimmer isn’t stealing the show.

It’s true Kessie doesn’t have the spectacular color shift of the flashier types of polishes I generally prefer, but this subdued shift provides that interesting chameleon effect I’ve mentioned before, allowing the color to adapt to match the colors around it. It’s definitely got that signature Julep subtlety to it.

Well, this isn’t a typical color I’d go for, but I like it, and it’s a nice, bright spring color. I also don’t have anything else quite like it in my stash. Overall, thumbs up.

Julep Cameron

This week, I’ve been wearing Julep Cameron, the Stardust finish polish from my Julep Maven February 2014 Boho Glam monthly box.

This is one coat on all fingers, except for the index finger, on which I tried two coats without much difference, no top coat, in natural light:

Cameron‘s a silvery neutral-toned lilac metallic with multi-sized glitters in the same color. It dries with a slight texture (similar to OPI’s Liquid Sand finish) and somewhat shiny (not matte, as Julep describes their Stardust finish, to my eye). It’s an understated color that doesn’t scream purple but isn’t boring in the least: it’s clearly lilac when examined more closely, and the light-scattering from the mixed glitter creates a druzy-like effect. Also, it’s got pretty good coverage in one coat, and the formula is easy to apply.

It’s also pretty durable. I’ve worn it for about half a week without too much noticeable wear, despite my tendency to use my nails as tools. I love that about Julep nail polishes.

Thumbs up from me on this polish!

I really loved Julep’s February colors and wish April’s finishes had been more interesting. I ended up skipping this month, so I won’t be reviewing an April 2014 box, but I’m holding onto my hopes for May. :]

 

Sally Hansen Satin Glam Chic Pink & Orly FX Milky Way

I wanted to swatch something bright and spring-colored this week, so I went with Sally Hansen Satin Glam Chic Pink and Orly FX Milky Way.

This is two coats of each, with Chic Pink on all nails except for Milky Way on the ring finger, no top coat on the Chic Pink and Seche Vite over Milky Way, in indirect sunlight:

And in direct sunlight, to better show the glass-fleck sparkle in Chic Pink:

Chic Pink is a pearlescent candy-pink jelly packed with fine glass-fleck shimmer. It dries to a yummy-looking squishy, matte texture that reminds me of gummy candies. At two coats, it’s still a little sheer, but I don’t mind. The formula is good, and the brush is a flattened, slightly wide type that I didn’t have any trouble using.

Sally Hansen’s Satin Glam polishes are in the same 0.33 fl. oz. teardrop-shaped bottles that the Lustre Shine polishes come in, except with a duller gray/silver cap. There are seven other colors in the series with a similar texture, too, but this is the only one I’ve picked up so far. I think this retails for about $6 at my local CVS, but I bought it with a coupon for significantly less.

Milky Way is from Orly’s spring 2014 Galaxy FX collection and looks to me like a milky cool-white base with turquoise micro glitter, small round orange glitter, and larger silver-white holo hex glitter. The formula on this one was weirdly chunky and stringy, at least from my bottle, but I didn’t have any problems applying it in the end. The glitters distributed pretty densely and evenly on their own and didn’t need too much dabbing.

I was really looking forward to the Galaxy FX polishes since late last year, but I had a little difficulty finding them in stores, even though they were supposed to be available since January this year. Thankfully, they were easy to find on the Internet – and for almost half the regular $9 or $10 each they normally retail for, at that.

Both polishes dry relatively fast and have managed to survive a normal day without noticeable chipping or tip wear so far. Not bad.

Julep Shannon

Since I got my Julep Lucky Mystery Box on Thursday, I’ve been dying to try Shannon, the pale minty silk finish polish that was guaranteed in my box. I must admit, I bought the box mostly for Shannon.

Let me tell you, it was worth it.

This is three coats, no top coat, direct sunlight:

The formula is a little sheer, and like with Noelle, the brush strokes are sort of obvious until it dries – especially if, like me, you’re too excited about trying new colors and not always super careful. It dries super fast to a pearly, silky matte, though, and application is great. The dry time was even faster with the Ta Da! Quick Dry Drops, which do double duty as cuticle moisturizer. (They’re slowly growing on me, even if they don’t speed up the dry time by all that much.)

In indirect sunlight:

Ah, this color is so refreshing. I’m telling you, I just can’t get enough of mint green, and this one’s paleness and texture gives it such a delicious, sugary mint frosting look. Yum!

All right, so I was also less than careful with my application today because I’ve got a fierce case of the hunger shakes, but I really do think Shannon looks pretty yummy.

Did you pick up a Julep mystery box this month, and if so, which exclusive polish caught your eye?

UPDATE 3/22/14: Good durability on this polish. It lasted about five days without chipping.

BaubleBar x Anthropologie Ixora Blossoms Necklace

Remember when I mentioned how awesome Baublebar’s customer service is?

Well, BaubleBar randomly sent me a surprise package on a rainy day toward the end of last month. At first , I thought it was some gifts I’d ordered from them the previous day, but the shipping time seemed impossible. It turns out they’d sent me their BaubleBar x Anthropologie Ixora Blossoms Necklace completely out of the blue.

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It even came with a nice handwritten note:

Hi [Lacquerfiend] -

As soon as I saw this piece from our new Anthropolog[ie] collection, I immediately thought of you. It’s a little thank you for all your support!

xo Kirby [from BaubleBar's SWAT Team]

What a lovely surprise – thank you! It’s beautiful:

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The Ixora Blossoms Necklace a versatile accessory that I can see going well with a variety of outfits, and it’s excellent quality for fashion jewelry. It’s got some weight to it, too. The sturdy chain is 33 inches long and what looks like antiqued brass, with clusters of translucent, tomato-red beads that remind me more of chilies strung up to dry than flowers. They rattle softly when you move.

I’ve gotten so many compliments wearing this necklace around.

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Hey, look, it even goes well with my nerd hoodie on weekends. :]

I love the combination of bright, sheer color with a heavier, almost industrial-looking brass chain. It’s a just-right balance of delicate and tough.

The Ixora Blossoms Necklace retails for $48.00 at Anthropologie and is part of a larger collection themed around exotic flowers.

Note: I wrote this post of my own initiative. BaubleBar likely doesn’t know I keep a blog and sent me this necklace without any request for review or advertisement.

Face-off: Revlon Top Speed Crystal Glow vs. L’Oreal Bananarama Love

Woo! Third post of the night. Almost caught up now. I’ll try to make this a quickie.

Here’s a comparison of Revlon Top Speed Crystal Glow and L’Oreal Bananarama Love (from L’Oreal’s Miss Candy collection from summer 2013).

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I really like yellow polishes, but I’m kind of picky about them. I ended up buying these polishes on the cheap on clearance (Crystal Glow for $2.99, and Bananarama Love for $2.39, or something like that) at different times because they both have that kind of lemony, banana-y, eggy yellow that looks yummy to me. I didn’t even know they were jellies (bonus!) at the time, but the color really attracted me.

Here’s four coats of Crystal Glow (index and ring) and four coats of Bananarama Love (middle and pinky), no top coat, in warm-white incandescent lighting:

As you can tell, they’re both very sheer, but Bananarama (middle and pinky) is way sheerer. They’re otherwise almost identical in color. It reminds me of Chinese egg tarts – yum! (I’m getting hungry just thinking about them.)

I’m drooling. (Image from Foodspotting.com, source linked.)

I really love the squishy, milky-acrylic jelly look, though the sheerness might not appeal to everyone, especially with how many coats it takes just to see the color. Both had average to somewhat long dry time, and even though I waited a long time between coats, by the third and fourth coat, the polish wasn’t really wanting to completely dry. I waited at least two or three hours before going to bed after painting my nails, but I guess it wasn’t enough. I even used my Julep Ta da! Quick Drops, which helped a bit but didn’t completely prevent the polish from smudging while I was sleeping.

In cool-white LED lighting (which makes my fingers look unnaturally purple!):

I bet these polishes would be great for jelly sandwiches. I’ll post some pictures if I try it one day.

Anyway, I think these polishes are similar enough that you don’t need both. They both take around four coats (and a lot more patience than I typically have) to look the way I like, but of the two, Crystal Glow gets my vote because it’s slightly more opaque.

Revlon Sun Candy Sun Shower & Julep Missy

Somehow, the yummy neon pastel colors of Revlon’s Sun Candy polishes never fail to catch my eye when I’m at my local CVS. They’re dual-polish sets similar to Revlon’s Moon Candy series, except in brighter colors for spring and paired with iridescent glitter toppers instead of flakies.

My sister is apparently a mind reader and picked up Sun Shower for me, which happens to be my favorite of all the colors. Here’s two coats of the creme side as a base and a dabbed-on slight gradient with the glitter side of Sun Shower on all fingers, except for two coats of Julep Missy on the ring finger, all topped with Seche Vite.

Sun Shower‘s bright pastel teal creme polish is a bit streaky and chalky on the first coat, but it at least mostly evens out by the second coat. The formula is on the watery side but manageable if you’re careful. The slightly turquoise-tinted glitter is pretty typical for its type: a little thick but easy enough to dab on. The color of the sheer base doesn’t really show on the nail. The dichroic green-to-blue flash of the glitter reminds me of mermaids and swimming pools, and it pairs really well with the creme it comes packaged with.

My only real beef with Sun Shower is that it wasn’t very durable on me and chipped pretty terribly within a day or two, even with my usual regimen of Orly Bonder underneath and Seche Vite on top. Kind of a bummer.

On the other hand, Missy, survived virtually unscathed over the course of the week. Granted, it was on my ring finger, which seems to get the least wear, but Juleps can usually take a lot of punishment, from my experience. Like other Julep foils I’ve tried (e.g., Sienna, Margot, et cetera), Missy has a great formula and goes on super smoothly and opaquely. It’s a neutral- to cool-toned silver and is super shiny, even without top coat. I kind of love it. Missy was from last October’s Julep Maven box.

Day two, I was already starting to see significant tip wear on Sun Shower:

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Still, it was pretty while it lasted – way sparklier than these photos would suggest! My phone couldn’t quite capture it.

My sis and I did matching nails that week. She used Revlon Sun Candy Fiery Sky and Wet ‘n’ Wild Fergie Grammy Gold (I think – I’ll correct this later if it’s wrong) for a warm version of mine. She had the same durability issue with Fiery Sky, but we both liked the bright, sugary colors enough that we didn’t care that much.

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Have you tried any Sun Candy colors? If so, what did you think?